We’re releasing our top-five events roundup a day early this week so that we can include Hit the Decks, an annual milestone that marks the unofficial start of summer on the Seacoast. Find out more about that and other notable highlights below.
Hit the Decks
After another interminable New England winter, the opportunity to enjoy a beverage al fresco is a well-earned reward. The Seacoast marks the occasion with Hit the Decks, a region-wide party during which dozens of shops, restaurants, lodgings, and organizations offer special deals. The highlight is having a beer or cocktail at one of the waterside decks overlooking Portsmouth Harbor. This year’s party headquarters are at the Portsmouth Gas Light on Thursday, May 24, from 3-5 p.m. Learn more here.
Meg Mitchell’s Birthday
In her new series of photographs, Portland-based artist Meg Mitchell imagines traveling to a different country every year on her birthday. The photos in the series document the different traditional foods and desserts she pretends to have eaten in each country to mark the anniversary of her birth. An exhibit of her work, called “Birthday,” opens at the Buoy gallery in Kittery Foreside on Friday, May 25, from 6-9 p.m. For more information, click here.
Doin’ the New Lowdown
National Tap Dance Day takes place every year on May 25 — the birthday of tap-dancing great Bill “Bojangles” Robinson. On Friday, The Dance Hall in Kittery celebrates with “Doin’ the New Lowdown,” a performance featuring live music from Mark Shilansky and friends, accompanied by tap dancers Ryan Casey, Drika Overton, Gay Nardone, and others. Guests are invited to bring their own tap shows and join in. The event begins at 7 p.m.; tickets are $12-$15. Learn more here.
What do you get when Billy Butler directs Shakespeare’s “most violent and bloodiest play” at The Players’ Ring in Portsmouth? A bloody good time, most likely. Produced by Butler’s Bitter Pill, “Titus Andronicus” runs from May 25 through June 17. The production will feature a number of unique twists, including original music, lots of makeup, and plenty of blood. Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Tickets are $14-$18; learn more here.
It’s lilac season on the Seacoast, and locals can celebrate at the Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion in Portsmouth during the annual Lilac Festival on Saturday, May 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be free tours of the mansion, a guided walk along the Little Harbor Trail, a scavenger hunt, and a raffle. Plus, there will be lilac plants available for purchase. Guests are invited to explore the waterfront grounds and have a picnic. For more information, click here.
For a full calendar of local events, click here.